"I've cracked it," said Bat Segundo. "I'm going to g-query Miss Snark."
He helped himself to a large scotch, and topped it up with coke. Barbarian.
"You're what?" I asked. My plans to do some creative accountancy that afternoon were about to be derailed.
"She doesn't take e-queries, yanno, by e-mail, but now she's got a g-mail account, so I'll send it to that. G-query." He waited for my congratulations. They didn't come.
"I'm a bit busy," I said, "so I probably shouldn't ask, but what's g-mail? Isn't it just regular e-mail with a 'g' in front?" I looked out of the window. The local canine dressage show had been disrupted by a gang of feral tabbies. The promenading poodles were now in a complete
muddle, hemmed in by the alley cats - would an added 'g' make any difference to them? G-poodle, galleycat? It would never catch on.
"It worked for Lewis Carroll," said Bat, as if reading my thoughts.
"The guy who wrote "Alice in Wonderland?"
"Yeah. He added a "G" and became Mr Waverley from UNCLE."
"I think that you'll find that he was Leo," I said, sighing. I had to do those accounts.
"No, he was Aquarius. Born in late January. I remember dad telling me before he went to sea."
"Your dad is in the Navy?" I met Bat way back. We studied theatre together at Maryland, we had much in common: memories of the Terrapin roar; of the greasepaint smell; of the crowd that we drank with, but I knew nothing of his family.
"No, he's a fisherman. Mom used to be in the military though. She loved the uniform. She still wears it when they go dancing at the Dew Drop Inn."
"Your mother wears army boots to the Dew Drop Inn? Now I've heard almost..." I still couldn't believe it. Wearing boots to the Dew Drop!
"...everything. And give me ten... Books don't cook themselves, you know."
He was still there when I came out of the office an hour later, although most of the scotch wasn't. I'd given his g-plan a bit of thought.
"Some people won't like it," I said. "AOL for one. 'Gaol' is an old spelling of 'jail'."
"Don't speak ill of the ISP," Bat warned. "Anyway, there's other letters. They could use 'W'."
"Wright on! Then I could speak 'Will of the Wisp'."
"I do believe he's got wit," said Bat. His speech was slurred.
"Why Miss Snark anyway? Is it just for the fame?"
"I'm a loyal snarkling," he said. "I've already got an in with her."
"And now you'll have a 'gin' with her. And if I'm such a 'wit', that would make you a..."
"Watch your language," snarled Bat. "I'm actually feeling a bit..."
He slumped to the floor.
"So now you're b-mailing Miss Snark?" I asked him. "It won't work," I added. "Take 'bunion'. Is that a b-Onion, or a b-Union?"
But Bat was away with the pixies.
b-rilliant! I love this. "Canine dressage show"..!!!!
Scoring to come